This 1970s house is located in a quiet equestrian patch of Nerang on the Gold Coast. The brief was to transform it into a contemporary and comfortable five-bedroom family home but to be clever about it so that the owner-builder clients could do the work themselves.

Project Name: Nerang House
Studio Name:
Alexandra Buchanan Architecture
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Photography: Jessie Prince
Project size: 364 m2
Completion date: 2018
Building levels: 2

Nerang House by Alexandra Buchanan Architecture - Sheet1
Exterior View ©Jessie Prince

The existing house was monolithic, presenting an unapologetic and dated façade to the street and turning its back on the acre of beautiful bushland to the rear garden – essentially, it was a box without any connection to its context or the potential daylight, ventilation and views.

Nerang House by Alexandra Buchanan Architecture - Sheet2
Kitchen ©Jessie Prince

Internally the house retained its original decor within an expansive yet confused double storey arrangement. The long, low ceilings created and introverted, oppressive and claustrophobic interior.

Nerang House by Alexandra Buchanan Architecture - Sheet3
Bedroom ©Jessie Prince

We were approached to update and make sense of the spaces within the existing house and to transform the appeal of the exterior, creating new connections to the context and to design in a way that enabled the owner-builders to manage the alterations and additions themselves on a tight budget. The result has transfored this tired old house and the client’s enjoyment of it beyond all expectation.

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